Islamabad/rawalpindi - The weekly off days of officers and staff of important ministries falling on Saturday and Sunday were cancelled to give final touches to the arrangements to accord a very warm welcome and ensure a smooth sailing in line with the deep-rooted friendship between the two countries.

According to details gathered by this agency, officers of ministries of foreign affairs, information and broadcasting, interior, finance, planning and development, petroleum and natural resources and water and power were all busy in their offices on Saturday going through the minutest details of the programme of distinguished guest relating to their ministries.

At the same time the weekly off days of concerned officers and staffers of the Senate and National Assembly were also cancelled as President Xi would be addressing the joint sitting of Parliament on Tuesday morning.

A high-level meeting was held at the ministry of planning and development that was attended by Ministers Ahsan Iqbal and Pervaiz Rashid, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi and other officials to finalize the arrangements for the signing of all the agreements.

The National Assembly has issued invitations to the guests invited for the address of the Chinese president. The guests include services chiefs, provincial governors and chief ministers, AJK president and prime minister, governor and acting chief minister of GB, diplomats, senior civil and military officials.

Meanwhile, a spokesman of the district administration Islamabad said on Saturday that hotels and marriage halls will remain open in the federal capital as usual during the visit of the Chinese president.

In a statement, he said that routine business activities, and ceremonies will continue as usual.

Meanwhile, city traffic police (CTP) have devised a special traffic plan for the visit of Chinese president, under which greater number of traffic wardens will perform duties on city roads to ensure smooth flow of traffic.

Airport Road would remain closed for vehicular traffic on Monday (April 20) from 8:00am to 2:00pm. Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Rawalpindi Shoaib Khurram Janbaz has asked the citizens not to use Airport Road on Monday as traffic load will be diverted to Chohan Chowk, Rawal Road, Murree Road which will pass through Double Road and reach Islamabad through 9th Avenue. He in a statement issued here said that the citizens should use Mall Road, Peshawar Road through IJP Road and Golra Road to reach Islamabad while the motorists can come to Rawalpindi city area through 9th Avenue, Double Road, Murree Road, Rawal Road, Saidpur Road and IJP Road.

He informed that heavy vehicles and vehicles with cylinders will not be allowed to enter the city from Sunday night. The vehicles coming from GT Road, Jhelum Road will be diverted to Rawalpindi from T Chowk, Rawat which will pass through Kutchery Chowk, Mall Road and Convoy Road to go ahead to Golra Road, IJP Road to reach Islamabad and Peshawar.

The CTO said all the streets, hotels, shops, petrol pumps and other commercial centres between Koral Chowk to PAF turn will also remain closed on Monday. The CTO said that a special control room has been established at Traffic Headquarters.

He said, all out efforts would be made by the traffic police to regulate traffic on the city roads but without the cooperation of the citizens, the traffic load cannot be controlled. Strict disciplinary action will be taken against the delinquent officials, the CTO added. The citizens can call at City Traffic Police Helpline 1915 to know about the traffic situation on the roads.